Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Messerschmitt Me-262 Schwalbe / Sturmvogel. Vwersions. Part 2. German Dzib -Compiler-

   The production "Me-262A-1a Schwalbe (Swallow)" fighter that finally emerged was fitted with two Jumo-004B engines with 8.83 kN (900 kgp / 1,980 lbf) thrust each. The "B"-series engines were production standard, using much smaller amounts of "strategic metals" such as chromium, nickel, and molybdenum than the pre-production "A" series engines. That made the "B" series engines substantially lighter than the "A" engines, but at a price, as described below.

The Jumo-004's starter system was unusual and worth comment. The compressor of a turbojet has to be brought up to speed before the turbojet can be ignited. In modern aircraft, this is done by a high-torque electric motor or airflow from a small starter turbine engine, while in many earlier jet aircraft it was done using a pyrotechnic cartridge that kicked the turbine into motion. The Jumo-004's starter system consisted of a small two-stroke gasoline engine hidden behind the engine nozzle bullet. The gasoline engine had an electric starter, but as a backup there was a pull-cord starter with the handle in a recess in the front of the bullet. Apparently the BMW-003 had a similar scheme.

The Me-262A-1a was armed with four short-barreled MK-108 30 millimeter cannon in the nose. The MK-108 was a low-velocity weapon, only a step above an automatic grenade launcher, and in fact its explosive shells were referred to as "mines". However, although they didn't have long range, they had terrific killing power. The top pair of cannon had 100 rounds per gun, while the lower pair had 80 rounds per gun. The aircraft was originally fitted with a Revi 16B reflector gunsight, though this was later replaced by the Askania EZ42 gyroscopic gunsight.

The Me-262A-1a had armored front window glass and an armored seat back. The wing had moderate sweepback, with trailing-edge flaps and leading-edge slats. The pilot sat high in an all-round vision canopy that tilted open to the right. The machine was not fitted with an ejection seat. The aircraft was designed to be easy to manufacture, and avoided the use of critical materials.

       The "Jabo" Me-262 variant was designated the "Me-262A-2a Sturmvogel (Storm Bird)". As noted, it was fitted with two stores pylons under the forward fuselage for two 250 kilogram (550 pound) general-purpose or cluster bombs, and only had the upper pair of MK-108 30 millimeter cannon.
The Sturmvogel was too "clean" for dive-bombing attacks; it would build up too much
speed, becoming uncontrollable. It had no bombsight for performing horizontal bombing attacks from medium or high altitudes, but a skilled pilot could use it to perform useful horizontal attacks at low level, particularly with cluster munitions that didn't have to be aimed precisely.
Cockpit armor was largely eliminated, and an extra fuel tank was fitted in the rear fuselage to increase range. This fuel tank had to be emptied first, otherwise the Sturmvogel became dangerously tail-heavy after dropping its bombs. If that sounds half-baked, it should be noted that a similar fix was made to the North American P-51D Mustang to give it "Berlin & back" range, with similar results. Work was also done on an odd scheme where the Sturmvogel was rigged to tow a large bomb fitted with a small wing, but the aircraft tended to "porpoise" while towing the bomb, with one aircraft losing control and lost, the pilot bailing out safely. Other nasty problems also cropped up and the idea was abandoned, with the final report stating the scheme had proven "hazardous and unsatisfactory".


Me 262 A-0
Pre-production aircraft fitted with two Jumo 004B turbojet engines, 23 built.

Me 262 A-1a "Schwalbe"
Primary production version, usable as both fighter (interceptor) and fighter-bomber.
Single prototype with a total of six nose mounted guns, two 20 mm (0.787 in) MG 151/20 cannon, two 30 mm (1.181 in) MK 103 cannon, and two 30 mm (1.181 in) MK 108 cannon.


Spec                   Metric                 English

Wingspan          12.5 meters              40 feet 11 inches
Wing area          21.70 sq_meters         233.58 sq_feet
Length                10.58 meters              34 feet 9 inches
Height                   3.83 meters              12 feet 7 inches
Empty weight     3,795 kilograms            8,380 pounds
Max loaded weight   6,390 kilograms     14,080 pounds
Maximum speed      870 KPH        540 MPH / 470 KT
Service ceiling        12,200 meters             40,000 feet
Range                1,050 kilometers            650 MI / 565

Me 262 A-1a/U2 
Single prototype with FuG 220 Lichtenstein SN-2 90 MHz radar transceiver and Hirschgeweih (stag's antlers) antenna array, for trials as a night-fighter.

Me 262 A-1a/U3

Reconnaissance version modified in small numbers, with Rb 20/30 (5) cameras mounted in the nose or alternatively one Rb 20/20 (5) and one Rb 75/30 (5) (Rb - Reihenbildmesskammer - series-picture, topographic camera). Some retained one 30 mm (1.181 in) MK 108 cannon, but most were unarmed.

Me 262 A-1a/U4
Bomber destroyer version, two prototypes with an adapted 50 mm (1.969 in) MK 214 (intended armament) or BK 5 (test ordnance only) anti-tank gun in the nose.

Me 262 A-1a/U5
Heavy jet fighter with six 30 mm (1.181 in) MK 108 cannon in the nose

Me 262 A-1b
Trio of A-1a evaluation versions, starting with Werknummer 170 078, re-engined with two BMW 003 turbojets in place of the Jumo 004s, maximum speed 800 km/h (500 mph; 430 kn). (6)

Me 262 A-2a "Sturmvogel"
Definitive bomber version retaining only the two lower 30 mm (1.181 in) MK 108 cannon.

Me 262 A-2a/U1
Single prototype with advanced bombsight.

Me 262 A-2a/U2
Two prototypes with glazed nose for accommodating a bombardier.

Me 262 A-3a
Proposed ground-attack version.

Me 262 A-4a
Reconnaissance version.

Me 262 A-5a
Definitive reconnaissance version used in small numbers at end of the war.

Me 262 B-1a
Two-seat trainer.

Me 262 B-1a/U1
Me 262 B-1a trainers converted into provisional night fighters, FuG 218 Neptun radar, with Hirschgeweih (eng:antler) eight-dipole antenna array. 

Me 262 B-2
Proposed night fighter version with stretched fuselage.

Me 262 C-1a
Single prototype [made from Me 262A Werknummer 130 186] of rocket-boosted interceptor (Heimatschützer I) with Walter HWK 109-509 liquid-fuelled rocket in the tail, first flown with combined jet/rocket power on 27 February 1945. (7) 
Me 262 C-2b
Single prototype [made from Me 262A Werknummer 170 074] of rocket-boosted interceptor (Heimatschützer II) with two BMW 003R "combined" powerplants (BMW 003 turbojet, with a single 9.8 kN (2,200 lbf) thrust BMW 109-718 liquid-fuelled rocket engine mounted atop the rear of each jet exhaust) for boosted thrust, only flown once with combined jet/rocket power on 26 March 1945. (8)

Me 262 C-3
Heimatschützer III - proposed version with Jumo 004 turbojet engines replaced with Walter HWK RII-211 Liquid-fuelled rocket engines. (9)

Me 262 C-3a
Heimatschützer IV - a rocket-boosted interceptor with a Walter HWK 109-509S-2 rocket motor housed in a permanent belly pack. Prototypes and initial production aircraft were captured before completion. (10)

Me 262 D-1
Proposed variant to carry Jagdfaust mortars.

Me 262 E-1
Proposed variant based on A-1a/U4 with a 55 mm (2.165 in) MK 114 cannon.

Me 262 E-2
Proposed rocket-armed variant carrying up to 48 × R4M rockets.

Me 262 S
Zero-series model for Me 262 A-1a
Me 262 W-1 

Provisional designation for Me 262 with 2x 2.7 kN (610 lbf) Argus As 014 pulse jet engines

Me 262 W-3
Provisional designation for Me 262 with 2x 4.90 kN (1,102 lbf) Argus As 044 pulse jet engines

Me 262 Lorin
Provisional designation for Me 262 with 2x Lorin ramjet booster engines in "over-wing" mounts, one above each of the Jumo turbojet nacelles.

Rüstsätze (field modification kits)

Rüstsatze may be applied to various sub-types of their respective aircraft type, denoted as a suffix in the form /Rn. Data from: 'Messerschmitt Me 262A Schwalbe (11) (12)

Underfuselage pylon for 500 l (110.0 imp gal; 132.1 US gal) external fuel tank.

Ratog installation for two Rheinmetall 109-502 solid rocket engines.

BMW 003R rocket boosted turbojet installation.

Installation of the FuG 350 Zc Naxos radar warning receiver / detector.

The standard 4x 30 mm (1.181 in) MK 108 cannon installation

Jabo (JagdBomber) equipment, such as bombsights and bomb racks.

Underwing installation of 12x R4M rockets carried on wooden racks'

R110BS Air to air rocket installation

Ruhrstahl Ru 344 X-4 air-to-air missile installation.

Postwar variants
Avia S-92 (13)
Czech-built Me 262 A-1a (fighter) (14)
Avia CS-92
Czech-built Me 262 B-1a (fighter trainer, two seats)